Ireland make two personnel changes for France play off

Centre Jenny Murphy passeed fit as Siobhán Fleming comes into the backrow in Paris

Ireland’s Siobhán Fleming, seen here scoring against Kazakhstan, will start against France on Sunday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan / Inpho

Ireland’s Siobhán Fleming, seen here scoring against Kazakhstan, will start against France on Sunday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan / Inpho


Jenny Murphy has recovered from a knee injury to replace Ireland’s Lynne Cantwell ahead of Sunday’s Women’s World Cup third-place play off against France (3.30pm Irish time).

Cantwell, Ireland’s most-capped player, suffered a concussion in the devastating semi-final defeat to England.

Murphy makes her first start of the tournament as a result at inside centre, meaning Grace Davitt will go to number 13.

Up front, backrower Siobhán Fleming is included at blindside flanker as Paula Fitzpatrick moves to number eight in replacing Heather O’Brien, who has been benched.

Also among the replacements, is Jackie Shiels who offers kicking cover and another option in the back three.

“It has been a fantastic World Cup for women’s rugby in Ireland and ideally we will finish it off with a winning performance,” said coach Philip Doyle, who is stepping down as head coach after the game.

IRELAND (v France): Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians/Munster); Ashleigh Baxter (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Grace Davitt (Cooke/Ulster), Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Alison Miller (Portlaoise/Connacht); Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Tania Rosser (Blackrock/Leinster); Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians/Leinster) (capt), Gillian Bourke (UL Bohemians/Munster), Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster); Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster); Siobhan Fleming (Tralee/Munster), Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht), Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)

Replacements: Sharon Lynch (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Kerrie-Ann Craddock (Saracens/Exile), Heather O’Brien (Highfield/Munster), Laura Guest (Highfield/Munster), Larissa Muldoon (Bristol/Exile), Jackie Shiels (Richmond/Exile), Hannah Casey (Saracens/Exile)

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